Villagers concerned about pub's future

By Richard SmithVILLAGERS who are determined to keep their only pub open are considering a proposal to run it as a community venture.Householders in the small village of Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, are once more concerned about the future of The Ship.

By Richard Smith

VILLAGERS who are determined to keep their only pub open are considering a proposal to run it as a community venture.

Householders in the small village of Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, are once more concerned about the future of The Ship.

The pub was closed for a period during the winter and the opening hours on its notice board have now been obscured by a sign saying it is a guesthouse.


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The pub is the last service left in the village following the closure of shops and the post office over the years.

One villager, who declined to be named, said: “There is serious talk in the community about buying the Blaxhall Ship as a community pub if we can get a reasonable price.

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“There are certain people in the village who would be prepared to chip in and buy it and then we would get a tenant in to run it.

“We feel this idea could be a strong contender and if one of the major breweries or the council could give us a loan, then we would probably do it.”

Another villager said it was becoming more popular among communities striving to keep their facilities for residents to club together and buy a property. Shares would then be sold in the business and the shareholders could vote annually.

Phillip Dunnett, parish council chairman, added: “The parish council will be monitoring the situation and if the pub is for sale, then perhaps that might be a good sign for breathing new life into the pub.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “The Ship Inn has been given planning permission to have bed and breakfast accommodation on offer in a building in the pub's grounds. This service (or use) is meant to be additional to the pub itself.

“Our planners have not received any complaints that the Ship Inn is now just operating as a B&B without being a pub, and we would investigate any such claims.

“If the Ship Inn was to permanently operate solely as a B&B facility, it would officially need planning permission for a change of use and no such request has either been received or granted.”

Hys Olink, pub landlord, declined to comment yesterday.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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